Education

EL CAJON ELKS LODGE HONORS CUYAMACA COLLEGE VETS

Source: Cuyamaca College

November 5, 2015 (El Cajon)--About 30 military veterans, now students at Cuyamaca College, enjoyed a barbecue and received school supplies at a Veterans Week commemoration hosted on campus Wednesday by the El Cajon Elks Lodge. The event, which also included a raffle for prizes including T-shirts, gift certificates from merchants and a pair of tickets to a Chargers’ football game, marked the second year that Elks Lodge 1812 joined the college in honoring student veterans.

ALPINE’S CASE AGAINST GROSSMONT REVIVED: JUDGE PRESSMAN RESCINDS DISMISSAL OF CASE

 

East County News Service

November 4, 2015 (Alpine)—Superior Court Joel Pressman today announced he will vacate his dismissal of a case filed by the Alpine  Union School District and Alpine Taxpayers for Bond Accountability and set a status conference with counsel November 6th. 

The move comes on the heels of an appellate court ruling yesterday which found the Grossmont Union High School District violated its promise to build an Alpine High School and affirmed Pressman’s earlier order for the Grossmont district to set aside $42 million bond money sufficient to build the school, pending full adjudication of the claim’s merits at trial, as ECM reported.

Judge Pressman issued the following statement today, though his court reporter:

APPEALS COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF ALPINE, AGAINST GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT—IN CONFLICT WITH TRIAL JUDGE’S ACTION

East County News Service

Updated November 4, 2015 with reactions and Judge Pressman's final ruling.

November 3, 2015 (Alpine) –California’s 4th district court of Appeal has handed down a ruling in favor of the Alpine Union School District and Alpine Taxpayers for Responsibility  against the Grossmont Union High School District– a ruling in apparent conflict with Superior Court Joel Pressman’s  most recent action.

The ruling comes just hours after Pressman announced a decision to throw out the lawsuit entirely (dismissing it with prejudice)  – reversing his earlier decision to set a December trial date and upholding his tentative ruling from last week.  In so doing, he contradicted his own earlier findings and instead, determined that Propositions H and U did not obligate the GUHSD to build a high school for Alpine.   

But the appellate court found just the opposite.The appellate court found the district violated its promise to build the Alpine High School and affirmed Pressman’s earlier order for the GUHSD to set aside bond moneys sufficient to build the school, pending full adjudication of the claim’s merits at trial.--a trial that may never occur, based on Pressman's latest action.

“SHOCKER”: JUDGE ISSUES TENTATIVE RULING TO DISMISS LAWSUIT AGAINST GROSSMONT DISTRICT OVER ALPINE HIGH SCHOOL

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 29, 2015 (Alpine) – For Alpine parents, it sounds like a Halloween horror story.  But it's an unexpected treat for the board majority at the Grossmont Union High School District.  Today, Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman (photo) issued a tentative ruling granting Grossmont 's motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Alpine parents and taxpayers. 

The suit sought to  force the district to turn over funds to build an Alpine high school, which voters twice voted to approve in Propositions H and U. The board's action drew scrutiny from the County Grand Jury, which issued a scathing report titled "Fool us once, fool us twice?"

The tentative ruling comes as a shock since Judge Pressman  previously denied an attempt by Grossmont to dismiss the case and set a trial date for early December, as ECM reported. In his earlier ruling, the judge rejected Grossmont’s arguments that it did not have a contract commitment with Alpine to build a high school and that the text of Prop U did not compel the district to build the long-promised school.

PRESIDENT ADVISES FEWER TESTS FOR STUDENTS

 

East County News Service

October 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – The No Child Left Behind Act was adopted in 2001 under President George W. Bush and perpetuated by the Obama administration.  But after years of complaints from parents and students,  President Barack Obama has announced new guidelines aimed at reducing mandatory testing.

GROSSMONT-CUYAMACA COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOARD DELAYS PLA DECISION; HIEL TARGETED FOR RECALL

 

 

Updated October 24, 2015 with recall details from the Registrar of Voters

By Mike Allen

October 21, 2015 (El Cajon)--At a sometimes raucous Oct. 20 meeting attended by union and non-union construction workers, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District board voted 3-2 to table a vote on a proposed project labor agreement, saying it needs to meet with a citizens committee that oversees spending of bond funds.

TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION TO REVOKE SUPPORT OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT BOND: MEETING SET ON TUESDAY

 

Photo, left: One of several new buildings funded at Cuyamaca and Grossmont College by recent bond revenues

East County News Service

October 15, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is calling on the board of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District to honor its pledge of fair and open competition for contracts to build taxpayer-funded projects,” according to a press release issued by the taxpayers’ group.

SDCTA says it will revoke its support for the GCCCD’s Proposition V bond measure if trustees vote on Oct. 20 to put in place a blanket project labor agreement for construction projects funded with proceeds from the 2012 measure. A project labor agreement requires that only contractors using union workers may bid on these publicly funded projects, a tactic that aims to assure good wages for local jobs.

PUNKIN' CHUNKIN' COMPETITION NOV. 8 TO BENEFIT ALPINE EDUCATION FOUNDATION

 

Get your team ready or just come to watch the pumpkins fly!

October 14, 2015 (Alpine)--The 2nd Annual Alpine Education Foundation Punkin Chunkin is set forSunday, Nov. 8th, at 10 a.m. at Joan MacQueen Middle School. This family friendly educational fundraiser to benefit Alpine schools requires teams to create a launching device to chunk their pumpkins for accuracy and distance while competing for nearly $2,000 in cash prizes for distance and accuracy. Entry fee is $100. Admission is free.

FIGHTING OFFSHORING OF CALIFORNIA TECH JOBS - ONE STUDENT AT A TIME

 

A San Diego nonprofit is training web developers free in an effort to keep technology jobs in the U.S. Credit: SoftStack Factory

By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service

October 4, 2015 (San Diego) -- A quick search for web developer jobs in California turns up 10,000 positions, open, right now. But many young people don't have the skills to write code, and can't afford college or $10,000 for a coding boot camp. Consequently, many companies are sending the jobs overseas.

BLACK LIBERATION MOVEMENT LEADER SPEAKS AT CUYAMACA COLLEGE OCT. 6

 

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District          

October 5, 2015 (El Cajon)--Omali Yeshitela, founder of the African People’s Socialist Party and the African Socialist International, is the featured speaker at Cuyamaca College’s Diversity Dialogues workshop, “Day in Solidarity with African People: Reparations for Stolen Black Lives,” set for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, in the Performing Arts Center. The workshop is free and open to the public.

GUN FOUND AT SANTANA HIGH

By Liz Alper

October 1, 2015 (Santee) - A Santana High School staff member found a gun in the school’s staff parking lot on September 30, KUSI reports.

The staff member found the firearm while she was walking through the staff parking lot at 6:15 this morning.  She says she walked over to clean up some glass she had spotted, and that is when she found the gun, KUSI reports.

TWO SDSU STUDENTS FACING EXPULSION OVER PATRIOTIC SYMBOLS

 

 

By Liz Alper


September 30, 2015 (San Diego) - Two San Diego State students are in danger of losing their rights to attend SDSU for displaying patriotic flags.

 

Cameron Box, an active duty Coast Guard member, and Connor Fenwick, who is in the Army ROTC, proudly display the U.S. Coast Guard flag, an Army flag and the American flag from the balcony of their on-campus housing unit at San Diego State.  However, the school is threatening to expel them, citing a “fire hazard”, also claiming that the flags “block visibility.”

FOSTERING OPPORTUNITIES: SCHOLARSHIPS OFFER HOPE TO SAN DIEGO STUDENTS

 

By Tasha Matthews

Photo, left: Staff and mentors at Fostering Opportunities Scholarships

Part I in a series on foster youth programs

September 22, 2015 (San Diego)-- Half of all foster kids in the U.S. end up homeless as adults.  Just 10% go to college, and of those, only 3% graduate. Although foster youths comprise less than 0.3% of the state’s population, 40% of the people in homeless shelters are former foster youths, as is a high percentage of the country's prison population. Over half (51% ) of foster youths are unemployed.  Yet despite these staggering statistics, many foster  youths are bright, talented individuals who have proven that they can thrive—with help from some local groups working to help them have a brighter future.

SCHOOL BOND MEASURE QUALIFIES FOR STATEWIDE BALLOT

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 20, 2015 (Sacramento – California’s Secretary of State has confirmed that a  $9 billion school construction bond measure has qualified for the November 2016 ballot. The measure is sponsored by Californians for Quality Schools.

CBS ALLEGES SDSU BASKETBALL UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR NCAA VIOLATION; ATHLETICS DEPT. DENIES PROBE

 

By Liz Alper

September 16, 2015 (San Diego) - CBS Sports reported Tuesday morning that the SDSU men’s basketball team is under investigation for alleged improper benefits allegedly given to prospective student athletes.

10 SCHOOLS LOCKED DOWN AFTER THREATS

 

Update:  La Jolla High and Pt. Loma High schools have been added to the list.

East County Magazine

September 17, 2015 (San Diego) – Threats of shootings or bombings have led to lock-downs at nine local high school campuses. Eight are in the San Diego Unified School District including Patrick Henry High School in the San Carlos neighborhood in East County. The ninth is in the Sweetwater Union High School District.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that no shooters or explosives have been found and no injuries have been reported; schools are locked down as a precaution while the threats are under investigation.

GUHSD BOARD HEARS UPDATE ON PROPOSITION H AND U STATUS, APPROVES FEASIBILITY STUDY ON ASKING VOTERS FOR MORE MONEY

 

"This is fiscal irresponsibility...The bond oversight is a joke." -- Nick Marinovich, bond oversight committee member who recently resigned in protest (photo, left).

"I don't think the public is aware of the damage being done by a handful of special interests." -- Jim Kelly, board member, referring to Alpine parents and taxpayers who sued the district over its failure to build the Alpine high school

 

By Janis Russell; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

September 15, 2015 (El Cajon)- At the September 10th Grossmont Union High School District board meeting, president Robert Shield gave his report regarding a lawsuit the board is facing filed by citizens of Alpine. An update on Propositions H and U was presented to the board. The majority approved an agreement with CliffordMoss and John Hoy to study  the likelihood that voters would re-authorize Prop U bonds or issuance of new bonds.

That could be a tough sell to voters, since the district is being sued by Alpine taxpayers for failing to spend Prop H and U bonds on building an Alpine high school as spelled out in the bonds. The district has claimed enrollment triggers weren't met, though multiple knowledgeable insiders have repeatedly reported that triggers were met.

RESULTS OF NEW STATE TEST SHOW GROSSMONT TOPS STATE AVERAGE IN MATH

 

East County News Service

September 11, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The new Smarter Balanced (SBAC) State test scores are now out.  The tests are meant as a positive step forward in helping to ensure that students are prepared to enter the 21st century with the critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills required for success in college and careers, providing a benchmark for measuring progress in future years.

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH CELEBRATED AT GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES

 

September 11, 2015 (El Cajon)--The Grossmont College Latino Film Festival and a Cuyamaca College Latino Heritage Celebration highlight an array of special events honoring Hispanic Heritage Month at the two East County colleges beginning Sept. 15.

All of the events are free and open to the public.

HISPANIC MAN IN MAROON PICKUP TRIED TO LURE GROSSMONT HIGH SCHOOL TEEN INTO VEHICLE

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Grossmont High School’s principal sent a letter to all parents yesterday warning of a apparent attempt to kidnap a female student on Tuesday, September 8th. 

According to Principal Daniel Barnes, the teen girl was waiting for a ride at 3:30 p.m. near the baseball field on Milden Avenue when she was approached by a man, who beckoned to her with a cigarette and told her to “get in” his vehicle. She refused and the man drove off on Water Street.

The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic man about 30 to 40 years old with brown hair, brown eyes, dark complexion, round face and large mole on his right cheek.  He was driving  a maroon single cab pickup truck, possibly a Ford F-150, older model with chipped paint.

9/11 REMEMBRANCES AT GROSSMONT AND CUYAMACA COLLEGES

 

September 8, 2015 (El Cajon)--A 9/11 commemoration organized by State Sen. Joel Anderson’s staff is set for 10:30-11:30 a.m. Friday at Grossmont College’s Main Quad. Speaking will be Grossmont College President Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Lannon, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, El Cajon Councilman Bob McClellan, MCAS Miramar Chaplain Wayne (Bob) Freiberg, and Steele Canyon High School’s ASB President Trevor Krantz.

READER’S EDITORIAL: VALHALLA HIGH SCHOOL HAS WAITED 40 YEARS FOR CLASSROOM IMPROVEMENTS

Alpine lawsuit unsuccessful in attempting to block needed upgrades at Valhalla

By Mary Beth Kastan

September 2, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)--Students returning to Valhalla High School in Rancho San Diego will be joined on campus by some unusual guests: construction crews with heavy equipment.

Despite the noise and dust, we’re excited to see a long-awaited campus modernization project finally underway. Thanks to bond funding provided by East County voters through Proposition U, the 49 classrooms in our 155,000-square-foot main building will be fully renovated for the first time since the school opened more than 40 years ago.

JULIANNA BARNES NAMED CUYAMACA COLLEGE PRESIDENT

 

Source: Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

August 31, 2015 (Rancho San Diego)--Julianna M. Barnes, vice president of student services at San Diego Mesa College, has been selected to serve as president of Cuyamaca College effective October 5.

DIEGO VALLEY CHARTER SCHOOL HELPS IMMIGRANT AND DISADVANTAGED STUDENTS ATTAIN THEIR DREAMS

 

Hear our radio interview, originally aired on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ:

http://k001.kiwi6.com/hotlink/kn5r63g0j0/Newsmakers-DiegoValleyCharterSchool.mp3

Story by Miriam Raftery, photo by Leon Thompson

August 28, 2015 (El Cajon) – Miguel Angel Soria and Peter Alkatib at Diego Valley Charter School in El Cajon are working wonders, helping 80% of their students—all at risk and drop-out youth—graduate with a high school diploma and go on to college or a career pathway. They are also co-producers of the Chaldean Voices documentary film debuting soon on KPBS and in El Cajon to celebrate Chaldean-American month.

About 30%  to 40% of the student body are Iraqi Chaldeans and most of the rest belong to other minority populations.  The school offers flexible scheduling to accommodate students who must work or raise children, also providing tutoring and other help to assure their students achieve their dreams.

Audio: 

STUDENT MISSING CEREBELLUM GRADUATES WITH HONORS, PROVES DOCTORS WRONG

 

Photo by Ion Moe/Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

Brandon Kover was accompanied at Cuyamaca College’s commencement ceremony by his favorite instructor, Lindy Brazil, who helped her former student through the processional.

August 21, 2015 (El Cajon ) --A doctor told Brandon Kover’s parents soon after his birth that as the extremely rare individual born without a cerebellum – the region of the brain critical to motor movement and balance – he would be a human vegetable, unable to move or communicate.

CA ATTORNEY GENERAL ISSUES ALERT ON STUDENT LOAN DEBT CONSOLIDATION SCAMS

 

Source: California Attorney General

August 23, 2015 (Los Angeles)—California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a consumer alert to Californians based on an increased number of complaints regarding student loan debt consolidation scams received by the Attorney General’s Public Inquiry Unit.

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